Pyrethroid insecticides and their environmental degradates in repeated duplicate-diet solid food samples of 50 adults

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Previous research has reported concurrent levels of pyrethroid insecticides and their environmental degradates in foods. These data raise concerns about using these same pyrethroid degradates found in the diet as urinary biomarkers of exposures in humans. The primary objective was to quantify levels of selected pyrethroids and their environmental degradates in duplicate-diet solid food samples of 50 adults over a six-week monitoring period. The study was conducted at the US EPA's Human Studies Facility in North Carolina and at participants' residences in 2009-2011. Participants collected duplicate-diet solid food samples on days 1 and 2 during weeks 1, 2, and 6 of the monitoring period. These samples were collected over three consecutive time periods each sampling day. A total of 782 food samples were homogenized and analyzed by LC/MS/MS for seven pyrethroids (bifenthrin, λ-cyhalothrin, cyfluthrin, cypermethrin, cis-deltamethrin, esfenvalerate, and cis/trans-permethrin) and six pyrethroid degradates. Results showed that 49% and 2% of all the samples contained at least one target pyrethroid or pyrethroid degradate, respectively. Cis/trans-permethrin (20%) and bifenthrin (20%) were the most frequently detected pyrethroids. The results suggest that the pyrethroid degradates were likely not present in sufficient levels in the diet to substantially impact the adults' urinary biomarker concentrations.

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